As a country of rich history and cultural diversity, Vietnam ought to have a national encyclopaedia published, declared Professor Dr Nguyen Xuan Thang, deputy head of a council guiding the compilation of the Vietnam encyclopaedia during the council’s debut in Hanoi on June 18.

The steering council, set up at the behest of the Prime Minister and chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, consists of 16 members, including eight deputy ministers.

It is also tasked with proposing compilation guidelines, directions and measures to the PM and helping him with coordination.

The 36-volume encyclopaedia will cover a wide range of knowledge from social and natural sciences, technology, national defence to diplomacy.

The council plans to establish 35 specialised sub-committees with 2,000 scientists and experts involved, even including overseas Vietnamese intellectuals.

The compilation is expected to begin in 2016.

The national encyclopaedia’s focus must revolve around Vietnam-related subjects and be practical, stated Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam.

Professor Thang, who is also President of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, said his institution is honoured to contribute to the generation of such a massive collection.-VNA